Are you aware that the business of marketing Irish potato is increasingly receiving much attention in agribusiness because the crop has tremendous economic value.
Speaking of agribusiness, the economic potential is increasingly getting attention as the government of the day is making policies and making arrangements to make farming attractive.
This is due to the rising number of unemployed youths in the streets of the nation. So, as a measure to curb the rising level of unemployment, the government is taking deliberate steps on making farming attractive by providing incentives, loans, and grants to persons willing and ready to go back to farm.
Therefore, the agricultural sector of the economy is experiencing a revamp in policies and funds are being injected into the sector. This article will focus on a particular agricultural produce that is widely eaten and is presently raking in lots of money for its farmers.
This crop is in high demand and those farming it are smiling to the bank. It is widely eaten in Nigeria, it is a staple food that can be boiled, fried, or roasted. More so, the crop can be processed into other homemade foods or packaged foods.
Well, if you are looking to take the initiative of going back to the farm and start making a living, you can choose to start cultivating the tuber crop. Hopefully, with some hard work and a properly managed farm, you too can begin to smile to the bank.
The Irish potato market in Nigeria
There is a prospect in cultivating the tuber crop because its market potential is assured. This tuber crop is used for a variety of things. These include the production of edibles such as chips, mashed potatoes, porridge, roasted potatoes, and so on. The crop is packed with essential nutrients for sound body health, hence, the unprecedented demand for it. All of this makes the crop highly marketable.
Moreover, there is a high need for more supplies of this tuber crop, which opens a window of opportunity for many that are looking to invest in the agricultural sector. The return on investment (ROI) can be quite encouraging thanks to a surge of interest on the crop by consumers.
Plateau state is known for producing the crop, the middle belt state is a major producer of the crop. Cultivation can be done manually or mechanically. For commercial cultivation of the tuber crop, mechanised farming is advised.
Irish potato cultivation
Irish potatoes thrive well in a temperate or cold climate and just a few states in Nigeria have such a climate. Plateau state is a major producer of the tuber crop because it has a temperate climate. The crop can also thrive in other parts of the nation.
To cultivate Irish potatoes, you will need land, which is a primary resource for the cultivation of crops. And if you are planning on cultivating for commercial purposes, you will need a large expanse of land. Land can either be bought or leased or inherited depending on one’s situation.
Like other tuber crops, it does not have seedlings. The potato tuber itself sprouts new shoots. Land to be used for cultivation has to be well-drained and aerated. Synthetic fertilizer or manure can be used to boost the fertility of the land.
Cultivation of the crop is just like any other tuber crop, all it needs is care, some fertilization, and adequate water.
Planting Irish potato
Planting involves making ridges, then digging holes that are about 20cm apart from each other. Pour some composted manure into each hole, then plant your seedling while covering the holes properly with soil. The seedling begins to germinate fourteen days after planting.
The crop is cultivated during the rainy season or any time of the year through irrigation practice. That is, the crop can be planted any time of the year.
Like most crops, Irish potatoes need to be cared for. The farm has to be weeded, the soil needs to be loosened and fertilizer needs to be applied to boost the growth of the crop. Note that fertilizers are applied close to the base of the plant.
Profit potential of the Irish potato
The profit potential of cultivating and marketing Irish potatoes is enormous. The demand for this crop is high especially in certain states in Nigeria such as Lagos, Kano, Delta, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, and Abuja. These states are populated and the demand for Irish potatoes in these states is high. There is a deficit in supply, which is an opportunity for engaging in full-fledged cultivation of the crop and marketing it in these cities and other cities in the nation.
Owning vehicles for transportation makes transporting your produce easier as well as cuts the cost of paying an exorbitant amount of money to transport your products across the nation. With your vehicle, you can transport to major cities, major markets, processing industries, hotels, and restaurants.
However, the problem of greedy middlemen can be an impediment as such middlemen tend to maximize profit from farmers. This problem can be avoided by joining farmers cooperatives or forming farmers cooperatives to stand in solidarity and cut out greedy middlemen. This will give farmers more control over the forces of demand and supply.
With an effective combination of resources and hard work, you can start making millions of naira from the cultivation of Irish potatoes.
The agricultural sector is experiencing a boom, thanks to structures and policies put in place by the government to make the sector appealing to the teeming graduates. Grants, loans, and incentives are made available to make people go back to the farm.
There are many crops with high economic potential and the Irish potato is one of them. As already mentioned, the cultivation of Irish potatoes can be highly profitable. The crop is used by the food industry to produce fast foods, this the demand is high. With the deficit in supply, engaging in the production of Irish potatoes can prove to be a profitable investment.
Kindly share your suggestions or experience in the farming business, especially Irish potato farming in Nigeria.